Hi everyone! My 2 cents: it's exactly 3 months to the date (Jan 11) since my recent PLIF fusion & I totally agree with others' fusion reactions. Texas Jen, you are sooo correct about the "recovery time" definition they give you. My doc was conservative & estimated, for me (I've had 2 priors) it would be 6-9 months, minimum.But how you describe the initial aftermath, when you are dealing w/ the immediate post-op pain & they are doing everything possible to reduce it & NOTHING is helping....jaw-breaking is totally accurate, as is mind-numbing, etc. Just almost impossible to describe, you just can't relieve it at first.
But it does get better, not much, but not as severe. At 3 months now, I can tolerate much more than I could in January. And I optimistically expect to continue to feel better as the months progress. But I know, &I'm not being defeatest or negative, that I will NEVER be pain-free or "normal" again. I can already feel the level above the implant struggling to accept its new burden & my back muscles are so weak & wimply yet, they sometimes just seem to fold & spasm all night, even w/ the Valium, etc.
*sigh* I've had "flares" this week in my hip-crest area where they took the bone marrow for my graft---I thought "Oh joy! Something ELSE now!" It reallly really really hutrts, but I almost had to laugh b/c now my "attention" is being diverted to THAT area, not around my hardware, which hurts too, but by comparrison now, not as much....hahahaha!
Sometimes I just want to "divorce" my head from my body---! I'd like to have my mind free to focus on other things & I do try. But like a puppy on a long leash, thinking it's free to run & starts to run only to be "yanked back"---well, that's the daily tug-of-war I have between my brain & my pain....!
So it goes! Gramps, thanks for your ,as usual, sage & wise comments. I take great comfort in knowing you,my spiney friends, are each dealing daily w/ your own pain and yet are surviving. Great dignity here on this site, lots of wisdom, lots of balm for my worn-out spirit.
CaryF, good luck in making your decision. I can't imagine how painful NECK pain is....only know the lumbar area....but you are my thoughts today as well. Remember: it's your body, you only get one & you need to LIVE with whatever results you get....and it's not your doctor who might be having the surgery....it would be you....! And you might have an excellent result, who knows? Good luck!
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak. 2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot, increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan. 08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time) & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!